Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator clutch recalls allegedly did not help SUV owners.

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Jeep Clutch Recall Lawsuit Baseless, Argues Fiat Chrysler
Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator clutch recalls allegedly did not help SUV owners.

— A Jeep clutch recall lawsuit alleges Jeep Wranglers and Jeep Gladiators are equipped with defective clutches that can cause fires, even after three clutch recalls were issued.

The class action lawsuit alleges 2018-2021 Jeep Wrangler (2-door), 2018-2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4-door) and 2020-2021 Jeep Gladiator SUVs are not what owners believed they were purchasing.

The allegedly defective Jeep vehicles are equipped with 3.6L V6 engines and manual transmissions.

According to the Jeep clutch lawsuit, the clutch friction plate can slip on the flywheel which creates high temperatures to the point of causing a fire.

The Jeep clutch lawsuit also alleges the Jeep clutch recalls, “effectively neuter” the Jeeps by “depriv[ing] Class Members of the benefit of their bargains — a class Vehicle equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 3.6L V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.”

The Jeep clutch recall lawsuit was filed by Dean Myslivecek, Michael Busovicki, Paul Caputo, and Kevin Schaffner.

Motion to Dismiss the Jeep Clutch Class Action Lawsuit

In its motion, Fiat Chrysler references the three Jeep clutch recalls since the premise of the lawsuit is the recalls allegedly failed to repair the vehicles.

  • Jeep Clutch Recall 20V-124: Removing a clip in certain vehicles that could damage a reservoir hose.
  • Jeep Clutch Recall 21V-028: Providing software updates to help avoid overheating if the clutch is misused by a driver.
  • Jeep Clutch Recall 23V-116: Expands Recall 21V-028 to include not just software improvements and reimbursement for any prior repairs, but also a free replacement of the entire clutch assembly.

Chrysler says the first Jeep clutch recall does not even apply to the Jeeps owned by Myslivecek, Busovicki, Caputo and Schaffner since their Jeeps were not built with that clip.

The automaker told the judge the plaintiffs provide absolutely no evidence the third clutch recall is "somehow insufficient or fails to resolve potential clutch overheating in their vehicles."

FCA also argues none of the plaintiffs claim they had the second recall repairs performed by dealers, "much less that they experienced clutch overheating after that repair."

"Nor do Plaintiffs identify even a single instance where any other vehicle owner received that recall repair but found it insufficient. Instead, Plaintiffs just pretend, falsely, that FCA US has 'admi[tted] that the Third Recall does not fix the Clutch Defect.'” — Motion to dismiss the Jeep clutch recall lawsuit

Chrysler further contends courts have previously held that simply pointing to a NHTSA-supervised recall and speculating the repairs prove ineffective is insufficient to continue the class action lawsuit.

As for the Jeeps allegedly now having diminished values, Chrysler argues the recall repairs removed that allegation.

The express warranty claim is also allegedly baseless because "courts in this District are in accord that Plaintiffs’ failure to present their vehicles at a dealership for repair precludes any express warranty claim."

The Jeep clutch recall lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Southern Division): Myslivecek, et al., v. FCA US LLC.

The plaintiffs are represented by Bursor & Fisher.


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